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Using sales funnel analysis to optimize the conversion process

The importance of online commerce makes sales funnel analysis central to the success or failure of a business. If your website has been built to sell a product or service, then website itself forms what is called a customer funnel. The customer journey and sales funnel (your website session recording) must have the end goal of a conversion. This could be a lead capture or a sale, anything where users take a series of actions before reaching whatever goal you wish.

The idea is to direct the customer to the end goal in the most efficient and effective manner. The series of events that constitute the consumer funnel need to be as linear as possible, with as few drop-offs as possible and as many conversions as possible. Once you understand what is involved in the set up and analysis of the funnel, you can then take the appropriate steps for conversion funnel optimization.

A lot goes into creating a successful digital funnel, successful funnels do not just magically appear and give amazing conversion rates overnight. The most effective conversion funnels have undergone extensive testing and analysis for full funnel optimization, normally over a long period of time, and use the customer experience analytics to drive results.  The use of cutting edge technology optimizes the online customer experience by creating, designing, and analyzing the online customer interactions within a digital funnel in order to get the best possible results.

There is no need to try to reinvent the wheel, rather take the wheel, analyze its performance and make the changes necessary to improve its performance. How is this achieved? Well, let’s have a look at the very basics of customer journey and sales funnel creation:

Two types of customer funnel

There are many ways in which to build and analyze a digital funnel. Even the best converting funnels in the world have events that see ‘drop offs’ –people that don’t make it through to the next event or end goal. In order to fix the drop offs we have to analyze the funnel and break up the events. To do this, we have to answer the following question about our funnel creation:

Are we worried about the sequence of events or are we just concerned that the end goal being achieved within a certain time period?

If we are concerned about the sequence of events, this is known as ‘This Order’. If our concerns are just with the end goal being achieved in a timely manner, this is called ‘Any Order’.

This order

Generally speaking, the most common form of consumer funnel is the ‘this order’ method. You select the events and in simple terms, you track how many drop offs there were in each of the events. Conversion funnel analysis measures the linear flow of the users, analyzing the funnel step by step to calculate how many users reached a certain point of a given process and how and where people dropped off.

With This Order funnels, events are designed to be completed in a particular order, typically:

Funnel Analysis event 1

Event C is the conversion or end goal. The user must follow the events in that order to be converted. The events can be repeated, i.e.

funnel analysis event 2

And the user can perform the same steps in a slightly irregular manner:

funnel analysis event 3

But as long as the events are followed using the event plan with only slight unintentional deviation then this type of digital funnel is easy to break down and analyze. Effective funnel conversion analysis will allow you to identify where the drop offs are occurring and to tweak the funnel accordingly.

Any order

Any order customer funnels are more difficult to analyze and improve upon. There are still events within the digital funnel to analyze but the focus is on the end goal and not the method it was achieved. As long as the user converts or completes the end goal, events can be performed in any order. Example:

funnel analysis event 4

The user must have performed the first event and then after that it doesn’t matter what the order is as long as at some point there is a conversion or end goal being met. The main advantage to the Any order funnel is that you can throw in different events and analyze the effectiveness of those events.

A/B testing

It is impossible to discuss conversion funnel analysis without talking about A/B testing.  A/B testing is considered the most effective method of tweaking a customer funnel, providing key sales funnel analysis so you can identify an event which is causing a large drop off and importantly, you can fix that event. It also allows you to try different tweaks to any event within the funnel to get the desired result. It could be something as simple as a colour change or a text rewrite, but effective funnel conversion analysis can only be achieved by testing different changes.

Once you have performed the A/B testing, you can successfully analyze the drop off and conversion rates after the tweaks you’ve made and then, importantly, change the customer journey and sales funnel accordingly.

Mapping the digital journey for better analysis

Even before a visitor reaches your customer funnel, the all-important digital journey has begun. Conversion funnels are created that analyze traffic from specific referring sources and then breaks every single action once on the funnel, down. This can be mouse movement, what was and wasn’t clicked, load time of a page, errors seen on a page, what was input, all even without form submission. You can map your customer movement from the ad click or Google search, through the complete navigation of the funnel or website, right through to the conversion or abandonment stage. The more you know of your digital customer’s journey through a conversion rate optimization report, the better the analysis. The better the sales funnel analysis, the better the conversion rate. It’s not rocket science but with complete digital transparency you can reap the rewards by increasing customer satisfaction, improving customer loyalty and boosting customer sales.

Funnel analysis – You can’t succeed without it

Throwing mud against the wall and hoping some will stick will only have limited success. Ok, some mud will stay against the wall, but how much time and effort did it take? An effective and timely approach to funnel building and analysis takes the most direct and linear approach to the end goal.  By mapping every possible step of the customer’s digital journey, you have the real-time data analysis of the online customer experience at your fingertips. The app funnel analysis identifies faults and with the simple funnel editing features, and strong A/B testing, you can ensure you have a more successful funnel with better conversion rates by utilizing information provided in the conversion rate optimization report.

The Artificial Intelligence used takes funnel analytics and analysis to a whole new level by providing an immediate measurable success to your business as well offering insights into predictive customer behavior. Abnormal behaviors or technical anomalies can be identified very early on and corrected so you always keep an eye on your consumer funnel for full funnel optimization and improved conversion rates.  Raw data can be extracted and analyzed at any time and the digital customer experience can be optimized with maximum effect to produce the best possible conversion results.

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